Background

TB is the world’s leading infectious killer with 2015 seeing TB accountable for 1.8 million deaths and 10.6 million people contracting the disease. Despite the increasingly urgent need to combat the epidemic, TB has maintained a low profile on the global political agenda, failing to receive the attention and resources it deserves. The European region has the world’s highest rates of multi-drug resistant TB, and the fastest growing HIV epidemic. In addition to the catastrophic human cost, the economic burden caused by TB in the region is enormous. It is estimated that by 2050, drug resistant TB will be responsible for an additional 2.1 million deaths at an economic cost of $1.1 trillion in the WHO European region alone. Furthermore, post-Soviet countries of the WHO Europe region have inherited health systems, characterised by extensive hospitalisation, limited primary care, central planning and hierarchal management. The diagnostics and treatment of TB has not been an exception, and, thus, is still undergoing transition from hospitalisation towards ambulatory model, which foresees the majority of care and treatment of people with TB to take place outside hospitals. Despite numbers regarding economic impact and realities on the ground, especially, with regards to the speed or quality of the reforms, as well as availability of funding, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, one of the key donors in the region, is in the midst of funding withdrawal and transition towards solely national funding of TB programmes in the region.

TB Europe Coalition (TBEC) is an advocacy network that brings together civil society representatives (individuals and organisations) from across the WHO European Region; in order to strengthen the role of civil society within the regional response to tuberculosis (TB), and to increase the political and financial commitment required to effectively control the epidemic.

TBEC was formed by a group of TB advocates in 2009. They identified a need to strengthen capacities and bring together civil society in order to address two major concerns: high-rates of TB drug resistance, coupled with low awareness among general populations and policy-makers about this problem. This was especially due to a scarcity of civil society stakeholders working on TB in the region. TBEC now has more than 340 members across 30 different countries throughout the greater European region.

TBEC has been growing rapidly and is increasingly recognised as the voice of TB-interested civil society across the WHO Europe Region. Yet it remains an informal network, governed by a steering committee, with staff operating the work and budget of the network from individual organizations, performing the role of de facto “secretariats” – RESULTS UK based in London, Global Health Advocates France in Brussels and the Alliance for Public Health in Kiev. Besides, many other organizations throughout the region contribute voluntarily to the work of TBEC.

TBEC 2017-2020

TBEC has grown into a strong, well recognised and respected network. The EC CHAFEA 2015-2017 three year operational grant has been invaluable to the growth of the network. By the end of April 2017 the coalition had more than 340 members representing 17 Member States of the European Union and across 30 different countries throughout the WHO European region, nearly double the number of members from 2014 (up from 158 members in 24 countries).

The grant has allowed TBEC to widen the network by mapping the various TB advocates and organisations in the region, carry out country visits and regional trainings, modernise the TBEC website and provide continuous information updates in English and Russian (EN/RU). TBEC has also been able to increase its advocacy efforts with international and regional decision makers such as the WHO and European Commission (EC). TBEC now has focal contacts in almost all countries in the WHO Europe region, as well as the capacity to communicate in EN/RU, which ensures regular feedback and understanding of the key issues across all members.

With membership having grown so significantly, it is now important to deepen the capacity and capabilities of TBEC members to successfully advocate for strong TB policies in their country contexts. With TBEC entering a new stage in its development, the coalition recently created a new Strategic Plan for 2018-2021. This outlines two main outcomes the coalition wish to achieve over the next four years:

  • Outcome 1: TBEC to be a high performing, accountable and united TB network
  • Outcome 2: TBEC members have the capacity and skills to effectively influence policies and provide evidence based service delivery

Additionally, the TBEC Steering Committee has identified three thematic areas of focus for the network: 1. Financing of strong health systems; 2. Human Rights with particular focus on people-centered TB policies and integrated health systems; and 3. Technologies including research & development (R&D) of new TB tools, and access to existing tools.
Strat Diagram

TBEC Vision

A world free of TB

TBEC Mission

Civil society driving the TB response

 

Continue reading TB Europe Coalition Strategy 2017-2020


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This blog is the product of an activity that has received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020).

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